Review by Dan Heyman, photos by Dan Heyman and Brendan McAleer

I guess you could say the Ford Edge had a bit of a tough birth. I mean, when your bigger sibling – the Explorer – has been a perennial bestseller, and has been credited with being one of the pioneers of the massive SUV movement, well, “big shoes to fill” is putting it mildly.

Thing is, and to its credit, the Edge was a bit of a pioneer itself. After all, if the Explorer has to be credited for helping usher in the SUV era, then surely, the Edge has to be credited for ushering in the crossover era. Yes, you could argue that vehicles like the AMC Eagle were the true pioneers – you know, take a family wagon (the Concord, in AMC’s case), jack it up a little, and give it four-wheel-drive. Thing is, that segment continues to exist with stuff like the Volvo S60 Cross Country or Audi A4 Allroad; aren’t those the true successors of the Eagle? With that divergence in mind, we can see how the Edge deserves its praise as a pioneer of sorts.

For 2015, the Edge gets new styling, a new engine choice, a new trim level and new drivetrain combinations that should appeal to a broader audience. One of them in particular is the one that underpins the example you see here: the 2.0L EcoBoost turbo-four. The Edge has been available with the engine before, but you could only have it if you were OK with front-wheel-drive, as it wasn’t available with AWD. Indeed, during the launch of the previous-gen Edge 2.0L in late 2011, the biggest complaint – especially amongst the Canadians on-hand – was the lack of an AWD/2.0L option.

Well, it appears Ford took heed, because lo and behold, a new Edge comes out, and you can pretty much configure it any way you see fit, with the 2.0 being available on every trim except the Sport; that one gets a new engine all its own: the 2.7L EcoBoost shared with the F-150.

In keeping with the rest of Ford’s lineup, the styling has been updated and the Edge now gets what was originally called “the New Face of Ford”; however, that was a while ago, so now “the face of Ford” will do just fine. Both the headlights and the grille now get a lower profile, the latter’s six-point shape much less in-your-face than the massive number on last year’s model, even if it does look a little Hyundai Tucson-ish . The rear end, meanwhile, gets a somewhat Lincoln-esque full-length light-bar which is a whole lot more distinctive than what we saw last year. It’s actually a much sharper-looking rear fascia, as last year’s car’s taillight lenses were so small that it made the metal expanse of the rear hatch appear unfinished. Now, everything is nicely tied together.

Inside, the changes aren’t quite as marked, but since our tester was a Titanium model there are plenty of nice materials and pleasing surfaces to behold. The soft leather seats and door inserts are all nice touches but it’s the centre stack that’s the real star in my eyes and it has little to do with materials whatsoever.

More on Comparison Test: Compact Crossover SUVs

For 2015, they’ve replaced the touch-heavy interface from the old model with proper, traditional buttons for the seat heating (and cooling) controls, audio volume and source, and all of your climate controls. It’s so nice to not have to search and prod the stack for 30 seconds just to boost your fan speed; it’s safer and it’s faster.

Other nice interior additions include thinner seats in order to provide more rear legroom, newly-shaped windows for an airier interior and Platinum and Sport models get a full-length moonroof option, too.

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